Barathon Day 1 – The Fault in our Stares

barathon

I was standing at the service desk, talking to a guy called Brian. I had met Brian the week before at a soccer practice. I told them all I had just moved back to town, was looking for a soccer team and a job, if any of them knew of any openings anyway. Back then my brains were pretty much only good for zombie food – I used them that much. A high school and college dropout (although I did graduate from high school [just not when I was supposed to]), brains were as foreign to me as the country I know live in (Dubai, United Arab Emirates).

“The boss’s name is Terry, but you should know that already.” Brian started, trying to help me out.

“Yeah, I know that.”

I was about to interview for a position as a labourer in a steel warehouse. Not glamourous, but a job. And a job that would pay well too. I could afford my car, to find a place of my own, have money to spend out on the town, and plan weekends in advance because this was your typical Monday to Friday job. And, as far as I knew, it required very little grey matter and that suited me perfectly because I was about another decade away from realising I should actually use the brain I was given.

“Send him in.” I can hear Terry yelling from his office.

“Right. Good luck.” Brian smiled and shook my hand. “Nothing to worry about.”

As I turned to walk away he mentioned, “Just don’t stare at his glass eye too long.”

Glass eye? Which one? My head started asking so many questions. Will it be obvious? What if it is a different colour to the other one and impossible to ignore? What if you lost it in a knife fight and has a super cool scar running down the length of his face? Can he not wear an eye patch?

I enter his office and he motions for me to sit down at the desk across from him. He’s going over my CV, which is pretty much pointless to him as this is the first non-sales or service job I’ve ever had. Still, he’s professional. He leans over the desk towards me and there it is – one blue eye and one green eye. They cannot look any different. I’m 23 going on 12, and this is proving to be too much of a challenge.

His right eye, the blue one, flits to the side and I try and follow it. The left eye sits rigid in its socket, never leaving its focus on me. Did he just blink? I swear I saw him blink, but maybe I blinked.

“If you were to get the job, when could you start?” He looks at me, both eyes fixed on mine.

Am I smiling? Do I look troubled? Oh God, he knows I know and he knows I’m finding it difficult to keep this professional. I’m such a child.

“Tomorrow, sir. I could start tomorrow if necessary.”

“Listen. If I give you the job, don’t call me sir.” He laughed. “It’s Terry. We’re not formal here. No secretive goings on or things like that. Every Friday after work we all go around to the bar on the corner and have a beer to see in the weekend.”

“Okay, cool.” I shift uneasily at what should be a calming answer. Am I sweating? I feel like I’m sweating. Grow up, man. It’s only a glass eye.

He notices. “It’s heterochromia.”

“What is?”

“The eye. Heterochromia is what having two different coloured eyes is called.”

“Brian said you had a glass eye.”

“Yeah, they all like to say it. Most people don’t know this is actually a thing. But I assure, if you poked either of my eyes it would hurt. Want to try?”

“Seriously?”

“No! But stop worrying about hurting my feelings and let’s actually sit down and finish this interview properly.”

I sat across the desk from him and finished the interview, even looking him in the eyes when I shook his hand when he gave me the job.

On my way home I was pleased with how it all went. Not too bad, I thought to myself. Handled that quite well.

 

 

 

 

30 thoughts on “Barathon Day 1 – The Fault in our Stares

    • Thank you for reading. I had no idea about the condition either, which is why I so readily believed the glass eye story

  1. Funny read! That scene from Austin Powers with the “mole” came to mind. And having 2 eye colors is a great idea for one of my characters…thanks for that! Lol.

    • And yes, the infamous me scene with Fred Savage. Too funny. And yeah, go for heterochromia in one of your characters

  2. Well written piece. Very funny but also makes one think. Its too easy and common for one to stare at a person with albinism or physical disability. And like Terry in your story, they actually might be very likeable.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I will admit to not knowing that heterochromia was a thing, but I still see such behavior today. People stare at what they don’t know and no doubt it is uncomfortable for all concerned.

    • Yup, possible. And he was a great boss for the 5 months he was my boss. Got bought by a new company and he transferred elsewhere

  3. It is quite possible, some people are definitely born with it. Makes for an interesting life though. Great story, was that Wolsey.

  4. Humorous, thoughtful, and informative. I know a girl who has a glass eye and the first time I met her, I reacted just like you. I honestly didn’t know where or which eye to look at while talking to her. But, as I kept meeting her, the awkwardness faded away on its own. By the way, great boss! 🙂

    • Yeah, it was a little difficult but definitely worse for him I’d imagine. And yeah, he was a great boss

  5. I came to know about heterochromia thanks to a crime thriller. I can imagine being thrown off your tracks there and ‘the fault in our stares’ as a result. Great title and cute post 🙂

  6. I didn’t know what it was called but I have a friend with two different eye colors. I wish interviewers were as cool as Terry 🙂 Nice read.

    • Thank you for stopping by. Yup, it’s a real thing. Nowadays I’d probably think it was colored contact lenses so it wouldn’t be a big deal

  7. Hey Ger, where is Day 2 Post for Barathon? Was looking forward to reading it.

    This one was great, as usual!

  8. I can just imagine how you were there. I had a client, became a friend, with one lazy eye. I got used to it quickly. Maybe I’m weird enough (not physically but how I feel) that I manage easily. I heard about the different colors of eyes but I thought it was interesting and almost mysterious. I didn’t realize they’d look strange. Terry seems really nice. ☺

    • If I were smarter I would have questioned to myself why they didn’t make the glass Eye the same color, which seems logical now. But I’m certain I wouldn’t have the same problem in my advanced stage of maturity

  9. This is going way back in your past adventure annals. Right? I suppose I am still guessing you are able to now look past differences. Smiles Robin 🐦

    • Two plus decades ago. I’ve lived in the Middle East for the last 10 years now, and if there was even a hint of that old me I’d be in a prison somewhere. Just took me longer to mature I guess lol

      • I don’t think anyone really has to grow up, I like to keep my inner child alive.
        Anyway, no shame in anything you chose to do. You weren’t in a gang or other wild or hurtful choices, Ger.
        The last statement is your best, laughing at oneself is always a good way to stay humble.
        The Safari sounds amazing and I look forward to reading about this experience.

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